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Colorado School of Mines History Archive

Brief History

Blueprint map of the Edgar Mine workings

The Edgar Mine, also known as the CSM Experimental Mine, is located in Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County, Colorado. The mine, known originally as the Edgar, was an active producer of silver and gold along with some lead and copper in the 1870s. The Mine passed through a number of hands before being purchased by the Big Five Mining Company.

Big Five leased the Mine to the Colorado School of Mines for training purposes in 1921. The School Eventually acquired the property and surrounding properties for use as an underground classroom for engineering education and as a research facility. The Mine has also been used to train outside groups in mine rescue techniques and disaster preparedness.The Edgar's workings include the Miami Tunnel, Edgar shaft (which follows the original Edgar vein), and the Big Five Tunnel. The Edgar and associated properties have been included in the Idaho (Idaho Springs) and Spanish Bar mining districts.

About the Edgar Mine Collections

The Edgar Mine (CSM Experimental Mine) Collections consist of materials on the history and development of the Mine and its educational role at the School of Mines.

Staff person underground in the Edgar Mine

The Collections:

  • Series A -- Edgar Mine Photographs, CSM 01.07. Uncataloged; see the librarian.
    • Box 1. Photographs and negatives, b&w (~1963-1972). Approximately 140 images
    • Box 2. Album of 35mm color slides (1989). Of the 133 slides, 114 are accessible in Digital Collections of Colorado. Files of ~110 b&w and color photos (1970s, 1994), showing scenes underground, students, equipment.
    • Box 3. Senior Project 1993-94. Photo album of 26 color photos on a CSM Senior Project Team's USGS Room Control Box, Edgar Mine. Files of ~80 photos, b&w (scattered, 1960s-1980s), showing students, Underground Classroom, scenes underground.
    • Boxes 4, 5. Photographs (oversize, color) related to the Edgar Mine.
  • Series B -- Edgar Mine Documents, CSM 09.03. Uncataloged; see the librarian.
    • Student reports and projects
    • Miscellaneous items including newspaper clippings
    • Jo Reynolds Mine: Student reports; supporting documents; maps and diagrams (mostly reproductions); articles.
  • Series C -- Edgar Mine Maps (various locations).
    • Group 1. Plats, surveys (1873-1908, 1956) and student works (nd). Location -- Mining History Archive, G4312 .E27 svar .M5.
    • Group 2. Maps and diagrams (1874-1967). ~200 items; plat maps of the Mine area (1880s-1950s) and student mapping projects of the Edgar (scattered, 1947-1997). Location -- Mining History Archive. Uncataloged; see the librarian.
    • Group 3. CSM Experimental Mine maps by CSM students for Dr. Charles O. Frush's classes (19--). 32 sheets; document. Location -- Map Room G4314 .I2H2 svar .F7.

Finding Materials on the Edgar Mine